I’m always happy to find a new issue of Food & Wine in the mailbox, and while the “healthy and “green” issues are not nearly as fun as the holiday issues, they usually have at least one recipe I’ll clip and use over and over. In this case, it’s the Chocolate Pecan Cookie Bars which I made this morning and which are excellent! While they’re not exactly diet food, the recipe uses slightly less butter, a little vegetable oil to cut the saturated fat, a ton of toasted pecans and dark chocolate, and whole wheat pastry flour for added whole grain. So the bars aren’t low in calories, but I felt better about eating them than red velvet cake.
Mine were a little thicker than Food & Wine’s, but it’s probably because I cut the recipe in half and used an 8 inch pan. I still thought they were perfect.
Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Bars
1/2 cup pecans, toasted in a 350 degree oven for about 8 minutes and chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon canola oil (I used Spectrum walnut oil which isn’t very strong)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons lightly beaten egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (3.2 oz)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (mine was generous)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (it’s possible I used more)
Preheat the oven to 350° and line an 8 inch metal pan with foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray.
Beat the butter and oil with the granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy — I did this with a hand-held mixer. Beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth.
In a small bowl, mix the flour with the baking soda and salt; stir the dry ingredients into the mixture. Add the chocolate chips and pecans and stir just until incorporated. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and press into an even layer.
Bake for about 17-20 minutes or until lightly browned and nearly set in the center. Let cool completely, then lift bars from pan, set on a cookie sheet and score into 16 bars (or 12).
Here’s a full batch version if you don’t want to cut the recipe in half.
Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Bars
- 1 cup pecans toasted in a 350 degree oven for about 8 minutes and chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour 6.4 oz
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt mine was generous
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips it’s possible I used more
- 1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries optional
- Preheat the oven to 350° and line a 9×13 inch metal pan with nonstick foil or parchment paper.
- Beat the butter and oil with the granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy — I did this with a hand-held mixer. Beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth.
- In a small bowl, mix the flour with the baking soda and salt; stir the dry ingredients into the mixture. Add the chocolate chips and pecans and stir just until incorporated. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and press into an even layer.
- Bake for about 17-20 minutes or until lightly browned and nearly set in the center. Let cool completely, then lift bars from pan, set on a cookie sheet and score into bars.
I have some WWPF to use up and I love chocolate and pecans! This bar satisfies almost all the food groups:
Protein, dairy, complex carbs, fruits (isn’t a nut the fruit of something or is it a seed of something?) and someone told me chocolate is a vegetable 😉
They were sturdy and held their shape well but they were still tender. We’ll see how they hold up.
Those look great! Are they crumbly or pretty sturdy?
One problem solved. Thanks, Anna. Now I just have to decide whether to make these or the irish creme cupcakes first!
Jennifer and Claudia, I usually buy whole wheat pastry flour in the bulk bin at Sprouts. My H.E.B. used to sell it, but today all they had was (oddly enough) regular pastry flour. Luckily I had whole wheat pastry flour in the pantry. If you don’t have a health food store or a store with a bulk bin, I’m sure Bob’s Red Mill makes it and sell it in the baking aisle.
Katrina, Happy Blog Anniversary!
Jen, these are not as moist as Pat’s and have a nuttier flavor from the wheat. They do have a wheaty flavor.
BB, there is some consolation in knowing there’s some whole grain and “good fat” with all the calories. Don’t pecans have a zillion health benefits?
[email protected] Caramel Cookie
You totally read my mind! I was thinking of making chocolate chip cookie bars today!
the blissful baker
I like that these use very little oil and butter, and call for whole wheat flour! Makes me feel less guilty about eating cookies!
Where did you find the WWPF in Austin, Anna? What brand?
Can you compare these to Pat’s Chocolate Chip Bars. Those are my boyfriend’s favorites but I wouldn’t mind making something slightly more healthy for him.
In Kansas I was able to find whole wheat pastry flour (wwpf) in our local stores, but here in Utah I have only found it at Whole Foods.
The bars look good to me!
I’ve been blogging for three years–today! Super happy to have met you, Anna!
Those look delicious. I love the combination of pecans and dark chocolate but I have a hard time finding “whole wheat pastry flour” in my local grocery store.